Becca Ludwig was in eighth grade when doctors diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, an often disabling disease that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body.
Like most challenges in her life, Becca didn’t let the news hold her back though. Even when clinical tests told her she wouldn’t have the cognitive ability to obtain more than an Associate’s Degree, Becca knew better.
“I kind of took (the test results) with a grain of salt,” Becca said. “I knew that I could accomplish more than what the paper said. I’ve always tried to really challenge myself regardless of what limitations were in front of me.”
On Saturday, the 23-year-old Becca, from Overland Park, Kansas, will walk the Field House stage to receive her diploma, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. More than 715 others are among Concordia University Wisconsin’s December graduates as well.
Becca’s MS makes it difficult for her to process new information, which meant she spent long hours in the library studying in order to reach her goal of graduating. Her MS also means she gets easily fatigued in extreme heats, but that hasn’t stopped her from running in several competitive events and, most recently, winning a triathlon she entered in September.
Becca says her family and faith have helped her overcome obstacles along the way. The year she was diagnosed, she went through cycles of complete physical dependence on others, having to rely on her parents at times to help her shower or move from her bed because she was unable to use her legs or her arm.
She’s kept her spiritual life active on campus by getting involved in L.I.G.H.T., Concordia’s ministry for children and young women, and in particular, the group’s Integrin Life Bible study group.
Becca has several job opportunities in Kansas lined up for after graduation, but is still weighing her options. No matter what, she says she anticipates great things ahead.
“It’s definitely bittersweet because it’s a close of a chapter, but it’s the opening of a new one and there’s tons of exciting things in front of me,” Becca said. “I feel like I can do a lot more or think about things in a different way because of what Concordia has helped me accomplish.”